10th Grade Odyssey Trip – by Mr. Lytle

Deciding between Charybdis’ whirlpool and Scylla’s deadly cliffs; remaining vigilant and open to inspiration in the face of the narrow-minded tunnel-vision of the cyclops, Polyphemus; drawing upon inner fortitude during a trip into the underworld; a match-up of will and intellect versus the awesome forces of nature (and the gods!); and this against the backdrop of an individual’s journey towards home and family.IMAG0039

The first main-lesson block for 10th grade is the study of Homer’s two epics, The Iliad and The Odyssey.  In addition to reading these classic texts and exploring the various historical, cultural, and literary themes that arise in class, we will be concluding the block with a sort of real-world “odyssey” of our own:  a three day guided caving and white-water rafting trip in the Adirondacks.

Day one we will embark on a caving exploration of the Chimney Rock caves.  In the morning we’ll launch our rafts and work our way down the Upper Hudson River, stopping at a half-way point on the river for our second night’s camp.  Along the way there will be lots of opportunity for exploration, adventure, and discussion.  My hope is that, through this shared experience and adventure, we will be able to have a visceral experience of the significant themes that manifest themselves in Homer’s epics, such as leadership, working together, overcoming adversity, using our will and intellect, and of course, returning home after a long and challenging trip!